HTC Desire HD
BlackBerry Torch 9800
Nokia N8
BlackBerryCurve 8520
Apple iPhone 16GB
HTC Wildfire Brown
Samsung Tocco Lite
HTC Desire
BlackBerry Curve 9300
Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung U600 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Samsung

The Samsung U600 mobile is the replacement for the hugely successful Samsung D900 slide phone. As is the norm with mobile technology advancements, the U600 is thinner, lighter and more powerful than the D900! With a 3.2 megapixel camera, featuring autofocus, LED flash and digital zoom. Not top of the class but more than acceptable with good quality photographs. The video camera is also above average and the high resolution 2.22 inch, 34 x 44mm, 262,144 colours, screen means viewing is a real pleasure. In addition the screen has a sunlight feature which alters colour scheme making it readable even in direct sunlight. For such a slim phone up to 4 hours of talk time and 270 hours of standby are exceptional.

The music player is definitely worthy of mention, supporting ACC, ACC+, e-ACC+ and MP3 files and with a cracking Bang & Olufsen power amplifier allowing you to listen to quality music without using a headset. For those moments when you want to keep the sounds to yourself, the retail bundle includes a stereo or wireless Bluetooth headset. Other music features included are playlists, flight mode, background play and A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). Internal memory as standard is quite poor when compared to similar phones on the market, only allowing around 40 tracks to be stored, so a memory upgrade will be essential for most users. A 2Gb upgrade microSD card will allow storage of around 300 songs and can be bought for under £20. The bundle also includes a PC-link cable so transferring music from your PC is easy. 64 voice polyphonic and MP3 ring tones are included which is a nice touch.

The Samsung U600 is a quad-band GSM/EDGE mobile phone that will support the 850/900/1800/1900MHz frequency bands giving worldwide reception and in terms of wireless connectivity, the Samsung U600 supports GPRS, EDGE, and Bluetooth. All the main message formats are also covered (SMS, MMS, and Email).

An unusual feature which may prove handy for some is the Samsung name card recognition. This allows you to take a photograph of a business card and the phone will recognise the details and input them into your contacts folder automatically – brilliant!

Pros
Ultra thin design
Good camera
Camera lens protected when not in use
Document Viewer supporting Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF

Cons
Slow to take photos (up to 2 seconds delay)
Low memory capacity without buying microSd card
Fiddly keys can take some getting used to
No 3.5mm headphone jack
No xenon flash
No Internet HTML Browser
No Wi-Fi

The U600 is a sleek, ultra slim and cool slider phone. With a good 3 megapixel camera and decent music player.

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Sony Ericsson Z320i – Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Sony Ericsson

The Z320i from Sony Ericsson is a stylish clamshell mobile phone packed with features available in crimson red or Atlantic blue. Weighing just 90 grams and with compact measurements of 87mm by 47mm by 20mm, the Z320i fits easily into any pocket. The two display screens ( internal and external) allow the user to view information without having to open the phone. This external screen shows new call coming in, new message and missed calls amongst other functions. The design of the Sony Ericsson Z320i is a little “retro” reminiscent of those popular Sony Ericsson models the Z250i and the Z310i. Users can change the looks and personalise their phones using Sony Ericsson’s “Style Up” covers.

The internal screen is a 65k colour screen with 128×160 pixel resolution ( the external is monochrome 96×64 pixels) which also acts as a viewfinder for the 1.3 mega-pixel VGA camera unit with video recording and playback capabilities, 4 x Digital Zoom and photo album application which can store up to 100 photographs.

Video clips can be shared using the built in MMS feature of the Z320i. With SMS (Text Messaging)
MMS (Multimedia Messaging) and  Email, video clips and photos can be shared easily. The predictive text input means sharing is quick too! Long text is supported which means text messages which are have too many characters for MMS are automatically split into multiple text messages all sent at once. A handy sound recorder is also included.

The Sony Ericsson Z320i phone comes with a WAP internet browser allowing easy access to the internet from their mobile. The Z320i can connect to other devices a USB connection or the infra red connection port. A a Tri-band network mobile, the Z320i covers GSM bands 900, 1800 & 1900, meaning you can use it abroad in Europe and even further afield in North America depending on the area and your provider.

The Z320i has 12 Mb of internal memory for storing phone book, messages, videos, sound recordings and photos. With fun embedded games and a range of MP3, AAC & polyphonic ring tones, the Sony Ericsson Z320i is ready and willing straight out of the box.

Pros
Style Up Covers
SMS Long
Predictive Text Input
Sound Recorder
Speakerphone with handsfree

Cons
No Wi-Fi
No Bluetooth
Only Tri-band
Camera only 1.3 mega-pixels

The Sony Ericsson Z320i is a really stylish clamshell (flip-open) unit that has most of the main features expected from today’s mobile users but none of the more advanced features, particularly in terms of connectivity, that are becoming commonplace in the mobile industry. If you need a phone for mostly making/receiving calls, sending/receiving texts with occasional internet and camera use, the Z320i is great. However for more technical users the lack of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be a huge disappointment!

HTC HD Mobile Phone Review

Category : HTC, Mobile Phones

The Touch HD is a cool looking mobile in it’s sleek black casing. This HTC Touch HD is a 3G Smartphone with a large touch screen allowing the viewing of high quality images and video playback. In addition this huge screen makes the Touch HD simple to use with input selections, text, numbers and graphics all displayed neatly and clearly. This 3.8 inch WVGA flat LCD touchscreen (measured diagonally) offers 480 x 800 pixel resolution and uses the “TouchFLO” 3D user interface – an interface designed by HTC. It is used by dragging your finger up the screen and moving your finger left and right to access common tasks. HTC Corporation (formerly High Tech Computer Corporation), is a Taiwan-based manufacturer of mobile-based portable devices.

The HTC Touch HD comes with an auto rotate screen function using built-in accelerometer which provides automatic wide screen viewing. The HTC Touch HD casing measures 62.8mm x 115mm x 12mm and weighs 147 grams including the standard battery which provides 8 hours talk time and up to 440 hours on standby. The HTC Touch HD is part of the HTC Smartphone family which include other notable handsets such as the HTC Touch Diamond and the HTC G1 Google phone.

Video playback on the HTC Touch HD is high clarity and offers a superb movie type wide screen experience, with virtual cinema quality on the 3.8 inch touch screen. The Touch HD has a five megapixel digital camera with video recording function and a second camera used for two way 3G video calling.

The HTC Touch HD Smartphone isn powered by a sohisticated Qualcomm MSM processor using Windows Mobile 6.1 professional as the operating system. Built in 3G HSDPA technology offers high data speed transfers, seamless internet browsing and multitasking operations. Download speeds of up to 7.2Mb per second are achievable and the HTC Touch HD has the option of connecting to local hotspots and other WLAN’s using Wi-Fi wireless technology . A mini USB cable port and Bluetooth wireless capabilities complete the comprehensive connectivity options.

With a generous 512Mb of ROM memory capacity along with 288Mb of RAM memory, the HTC Touch HD can store lots of data in standard form, however this can be upgraded using MicroSD memory card. You can use the built in Web browser on the HTC Touch HD to access all your favourite websites and a mobile email service to keep in touch just like you use ha ome or office PC. There is also an instant messaging service along with SMS text messaging and MMS multimedia messaging. The HTC Touch HD phone also has a built in FM radio with a radio data system (RDS) and a built in music player which is controlled via the touch screen . The Touch HD handset comes with a 3.5mm audio jack which means you can use any compatible headphones. You can even get directions to destinations and view routes on satellite maps using the GPS navigation feature which includes Google maps.

Pros
Qualcomm MSM Processor with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Operating System
GPS Navigation
3G HSDPA technology
3.8 Inch 65k Colour WVGA LCD touch sensitive screen
5 Megapixel Camera
Wi-Fi connection

Cons
None

One of the best 3G touch screen Smartphone on the market with GPS navigation, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. Superb 3.8 Inch touch screen with TouchFLO 3D controls and Qualcomm processor operating on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. If you are in the market for a Smartphone this should be on your shortlist!

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Samsung J700 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Samsung

The Samsung J700 is a compact slide opening phone in a cool black casing weighing just 92 grams. Easy to operate single handed with measurements of just 99.5mm by 48mm wide by 14.8mm it’s dimensions are small for a slide phone. The display can be viewed whether the handset is in the open or closed position and is a good size (2 inches) with 128 x 160 pixels resolution and up to 65k displayed colours. The keypad underneath the slide is easy to use with raised keys meaning less mistakes when texting. The rechargeable battery provides 2.5 hours talk time and up to 250 hours on standby.

A 1.3 megapixel digital camera on the J700 allows the capture of both still and moving footage. The
video function supports MPEG4 & H263 formats for both recording and playback. The camera’s lens is hidden under the slide mechanism when not in use to protect it from scratches and features 12x digital zoom and a self-portrait setting. An FM radio is included along with Java games and a music player making the J700 a useful mobile entertainment centre. 10Mb of memory is included and you can increase the storage capacity using a microSD card. As an added bonus Samsung ship the J700 with 64 Polyphonic Ringtones and some embedded JAVA games pre-loaded.

Messaging services are fully supported with text, pictures and sound files using MMS, SMS and email. The predictive text function is handy as this allows the user to input a text message much quicker than normal as the technology predicts the word the user is typing and saves them having to type complete word. A built in Web browser gives full web access using built-in WAP browser. The use of EDGE technology & GPRS allows fast speed data transfer rates.

A tri-band phone, the J700 works on the GSM 900, 1800 & 1900 networks, which gives full European coverage and partial coverage in the U.S.A and Canada. Connecting to other devices is by Bluetooth or USB cable.  A range of useful applications are included with the J700 such as a calendar, to do list, scheduler, clock, unit converter, alarm, calendar, worldtime, voice recorder, memo, calculator, stopwatch and timer.

Pros
Looks
Voice Memo
Predictive Text Input
Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
Phonebook with 1000 entries
WAP 2.0 xHTML, HTML
Decent quality MP3/AAC/AAC+/MIDI player

Cons
Some features are basic
No Wi-Fi
No 3G
No RDS support on FM radio
Basic camera
No 3.5mm headphone jack only Samsung proprietary universal port

A lower to mid-range model from Samsung in both price and specification. Does the job though, and the camera does take some remarkably decent photos considering it’s only 1.3 megapixels. A decent if uninspiring mobile phone.

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G1 from T-Mobile – Mobile Review

Category : HTC, Mobile Phones

The  Google Phone (also known as the HTC T-Mobile G1) is a Google compatible 3G Smartphone using the Android (an open source software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications) mobile operating system. The G1 phone is available in three colours – white, black and brown. User friendly navigation through applications and menus is provided via the trackball navigation key, call keys and a home key. The large 3.2 inch high colour screen dominates the front aspect of the G1 and this screen is touch sensitive and displays high quality graphics with a 320 x 480 pixel resolution. The G1 measures 17.1mm x 55.7mm x 117.7mm with a weight of 158 grams. The battery provides a useful 6.5 hours of talk time from a single charge.

To access the full QWERTY keyboard you simply slide the screen to the right. This allows you to view the screen while inputting text using the full QWERTY keyboard. The G1 ships with 256Mb of ROM memory, 192Mb of RAM memory and has a microSD slot for further memory expansion.

The G1 provides a range of messaging and communication capabilities including SMS text messaging, mobile email service, MMS and Google Talk (instant chat client). With integrated Google search facility from the built in browser. The G1 can be used just like a home PC when it comes to internet surfing.

Download and transfering of music is simple on this G1 handset using built in music player which supports all the popular music formats such mp3, MIDI, WMV & AAC. This G1 smartphone has an integrated camera feature for taking still pictures. The camera is a 3.2 megapixel unit and pictures taken can easily be shared with others using the multi-media messaging features.

The G1 Google allows hands free calling using included speakers in the handset and there is an integrated Google maps feature which uses GPS technology to provide routes and give directions to your destination. The G1 has some pre-installed games such as Pac Man but many more games are available for download to suit individual taste.

The G1 uses 3G HSDPA technology and Android OS mobile to provide high speed internet access, fast data transfer rates and application  multitasking. The Wi-Fi capability allows connection to local WLAN’s or hotspots using a wireless connection to gain access to the web without using up bandwidth set by your network provider, The G1 is a quad band phone, which means it can be used virtually worldwide with the roaming facility automatically searching for available networks across all four GSM bands.

Pros
Slide out QWERTY keyboard
3.2 Inch LCD Touch Sensitive Screen
HTML browser with integrated Google search
Google Talk (instant message chat client)
3G HSDPA technology
Wi-Fi
GPS Navigation with Google Maps

A worthy challenger to the iPhone with similar “geek” appeal, using open source Android software is a stroke of genius by Google, many developers will be creating additional applications and utilities and sharing them online creating a G1 community to turbo charge sales!

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Sony Ericsson W910i – Reviews

Category : Mobile Phones, Sony Ericsson

The W910i is part of the Sony Ericsson Walkman family (which includes W595, W902, W660, W580, W302, W960, W890, W350, W760 and W890). With integrated 3G HSDPA capabilities and a host of other features, the W910i phone is surprisingly slender slider measuring only 12.5mm x 99.5mm x 50mm and weighing in at 86 grams. Available in a choice of two colours (noble black or hearty red) with classic stainless steel details on the casing. Up to 9hours talk time and up to 400 hours standby are possible from a single full battery charge.

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The Sony Ericsson W910i has a clear 2.4 inch colour screen with  240 x 320 pixel resolution and
displays up to 262,000 colours. Below the screen is a stainless steel navigation tool which allows the user to navigate easily through the phone menus and applications.

Being part of the Sony Ericsson Walkman family the built in music player is one of the main features on this phone. Organising and managing music is easy with the Walkman music management software which comes with the phone. An interesting and fun feature is the SensMe™ shake control system, basically you simply shake the handset while pressing the SensMe key to select random tracks. An integrated FM radio feature with radio RDS is also included so you can listen to your favourite music, chat or sports station on the move. With Bluetooth stereo A2DP allowing a wire free connection between Bluetooth headset and the handset. Like the other Walkman phones the W910i has an array of cool music functions such as the TrackID music recognition feature and Mega Bass sound.

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The 3G HSDPA technology on the Sony Ericsson W910i provides high speed mobile internet access and multitasking capabilities. Functions such as 3G video calling, broadband speed Internet access and high speed downloads are all supported. Other devices can be connected using Bluetooth wireless connection or the USB connection. 40 Mb of memory comes as standard internally (can be extended with memory stick Micro M2) and the W910i is a quad band handset with world wide roaming capability.

The Sony Ericsson W910i has a “flight mode” feature which disables transmission from their phone  in restricted areas such as hospitals or on board aircraft. A built in 2 mega-pixel camera with 2.5x digital zoom and a secondary camera used for 3G video calling are also included. The large screen means 3D gaming is fun and entertaining and the handset can be tilted to give widescreen viewing.

Pros
3G HSDPA Technology
Quad Band
Walkman Music Player
SensMe Shake Control function
2.4 Inch 262k TFT Colour Screen
2 Megapixel Camera
Bluetooth
Predictive text input
Sound recorder
EDGE
Good web browser (NetFront)with RSS reader
3G video calling

Cons
No Wi-Fi

A great 3G enabled music phone with large display and top quality music and multi-media features.

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Nokia Super Nova 7610 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Nokia

The Nokia 7610 Supernova has got to be one of the most stylish phones on the market, it’s gorgeous! Available in a choice of 5 colours (lilac, blue, red, grey and white with themed wallpapers to match) the 7610 Supernova has a large 2 inch QVGA screen ( up to 16 million colours with 320 x 240 pixel resolution) giving a clear, crisp and bright display. The 7610 Supernova weighs in at a slender 99g with compact dimensions of just 98mm x 48mm x 15mm. Battery life is good with up to 5.4 hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby time from a single charge.

The retail bundle for the 7610 Supernova includes phone, compact charger, stereo headset, video out cable, 512MbmicroSd card, two express on covers and user guide.

Browsing the internet is simple using the XHTML WAP 2.0 browser. Fast data speeds are available using  OMA DRM 2.0 and EDGE technology with the support of GPRS. The 7610 Supernova is a quad band phone with world roaming capability enabling you to stay in contact with friends and family while on holiday abroad.

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The Nokia 7610 Supernova comes with a 3.2 mega-pixel camera featuring an 8x digital zoom and Dual LED flash for low light environments. The video recording facility supports MPEG4, VGA and CIF video formats and video playback is available by streaming on phone or via TV out cable on your TV.

The Nokia 7610 Supernova music player supports MP3, AAC, and eAAC+ music formats and features an integrated FM stereo with RDS. A 2 way dedicated music key makes it easy to listen to your favourite tunes anywhere. All popular ring tone formats are supported including videos, MP3, AAC, eAAC+ and polyphonic ring-tones. The internal 64Mb will be sufficient for most and there is an option to upgrade using microSd card up to 2Gb.

Keeping in touch with contacts is easy if there is no time to make a call – SMS, MMS (multi-media
messaging), Emailing, Nokia Xpress Audio Messaging and Instant messaging are all available

The 7610 Supernova mobile comes with embedded Java games and your can download more games if you wish although not all games are free. Other embedded features and applications are background noise cancellation (Nokia Clarity), voice commands, personal organiser, a “To Do” task list and even an alarm clock and countdown timer.

Pros
Quad band
Personal organiser with Phone book, Calendar, To do list, Notes, Alarm Clock & Countdown timer
Voice Commands and recording
Bluetooth, TV out and USB connectivity
Java games and downloadable games
Background noise cancellation (Voice Clarity)
EDGE and GPRS technologies
Hands free integration
Available Sim-free

Cons
No LAN Wi-Fi
Not 3G enabled
No infra-red port

A stylish and trendy phone, the Nokia 7610 Supernova will sell on the looks alone! In terms of performance, features and capabilities the 7610 Supernova is a good mid-range choice.

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Samsung I200 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Samsung

The Samsung i200 mobile phone is taller than other smartphones ( which gives space for a decent user friendly, large number pad), but with a thickness of just 11.8mm fits into the palm of your hand nicely. The 2.3-inch screen is clear and sharp and the phone buttons are well defined for those who like texting. Unusually for a smart phone nowadays the i200 does not use touchscreen technology. Using the Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard operating system ( which is unusual for a smartphone lacking a Qwerty keyboard) this functionality is not available. However there are some who prefer good old fashioned keys and feel touch screens are a gimmick of little use. On the plus side, using Windows 6.1 means you get latest versions of Office mobile and Internet Explorer. Battery performance for such a slim phone is well above average with seven hours of talk time and up to 300 hours on standby from a single full battery charge.

Microsoft Office mobile includes Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint and allows viewing, creating and editing of documents on the move. A PDF viewer is also included giving a full suite of office/business document capabilities. The retail bundle includes phone, AC charger, USB sync, stereo headset, quick start guide with CD and Outlook 2007 trial software.

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Internet browsing is a relatively painless affair with HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) connections up to 3.6Mbps and Internet Explorer, however the Windows interface can be a little “clunky” when transitioning between web pages or applications. There is a secondary front camera for video calling in addition to the 2 megapixel main camera unit which takes acceptable but not outstanding pictures. This is not a mobile to replace your digital camera!

Unfortunately no Wi-Fi capability is built into this mobile which means you will have to rely on your network operator for getting online. This is a major blow for a modern smartphone as you cannot take advantage of smartzones or free wireless areas in hotels and airports.

You can extend the 20Mb internal memory using microSd cards up to 8GB in size to give plenty of storage. The Samsung i200 is a Tri-Band phone covering the 900/1800/1900 frequency bands. This means it can be used throughout Europe and with some networks in the USA, Canada, Caribbean and South America.

Pros
Big clear screen
Latest versions of Windows Office Mobile and Internet Explorer included
Tactile buttons are large and responsive (great for texting)
RSS reader
PDF viewer

Cons
No Wi-Fi
No GPS
No touchscreen
no FM radio tuner
No flash or autofocus on camera
Tri-band GSM only

In summary, the Samsung i200 mobile phone is a middling performer, with some solid applications included (particularly document viewing and processing), but the lack of Wi-Fi and GPS chip limit the functionality.

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HTC Touch Diamond Mobile Phone Review

Category : HTC, Mobile Phones

The HTC Touch Diamond is a stylish 3G Smartphone with a host of communications and business features in a high gloss black casing and a 2.8 inch LCD touch screen displaying up to 65,000 colours and clear, crisp graphics. The screen utilises the HTC TouchFLO 3D system giving intuitive touch control of all applications and features. This screen also has an auto rotate function and supports handwriting recognition software. The HTC Touch Diamond weighs just 110 grams and measures 102mm x 51mm x 11.4mm, which is amazingly compact for a Smartphone packed with so many features. The Touch Diamond ships with 356Mb of ROM memory, 192 megabytes of RAM memory and a massive 4Gb of built in user memory. The HTC Touch Diamond is part of the same family of phones as the HTC Touch HD. The battery provides around 2 hours of video call time, over 5 hours of GSM talktime and up to 285 hours of standby power.

With a built in GPS system with Assisted GPS navigation, the HTC Touch Diamond can provide directions and routes to desired locations. A full HTML web browser with Google search also gives easy access to websites and online information. The HTC Touch Diamond also has a weather forecast feature, instant messaging service, email, MMS and SMS services onboard. For entertainment the HTC Touch Diamond offers full motion gaming with 3D graphics along with music and video player supporting MP3, AAC, AAC+, WAV, WMA & AMR NB formats.

Using Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system, the HTC Touch Diamond has a user friendly menu system and graphical interface. Surfing the Web and downloading files are at near broadband speed thanks to the built in 3G HSDPA technology. Wi-Fi is also provided giving internet access while in local hotspots or other WLAN areas such as hotels, airports and restaurants. Data transfer between compatible devices such as PC’s or laptops is provided via Bluetooth wireless connection or a USB cable.

A built in 3.2 megapixel camera feature with auto focus offers high quality still picture capture and video recording. A second camera is provided on the front of the handset for video calling.

Pros
Wi-Fi enabled
Great 2.8 Inch 65k Colour LCD Touch Screen
TouchFLO 3D interface
Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS
GPS and AGPS Navigation
3G Video Calling supported
Instant messaging client
3G HSDPA technology
Accelerometer with auto screen rotate

Cons
No camera flash

The HTC Touch Diamond (so called due to its diamond shaped casing) brings a lot to the table. Large LCD touch screen, smooth touch screen controls (TouchFLO 3D), built in Wi-Fi and 3G HSDPA, messaging services, 3G video calling and GPS navigation system. All the smartphone features in a classy looking and compact handset.

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Sony Ericsson W902 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Sony Ericsson

The Sony Ericsson W902 is a stunning 3G music phone available in a choice of three coloured casings, earth green, wine red or volcanic black. The W902 is a member of the Sony Ericsson Walkman family ( other Walkman phones are the W595, W660, W580, W302, W960, W890, W350, W760 and W890). The W902 has a substantial, quality feel and weighs in at 99.8 grams with dimensions of 11.7mm x 49mm x 110mm. With 9 hours talktime and 380 hours standby, the W902 won’t let you down just when you need it most.

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Featuring a high resolution 2.2 Inch coloured screen displaying up to 262,000 colours the W902 comes with circular navigation and shortcut keys, side camera & music keys and an easy to use raised keypad. With 25Mb of internal memory included the W902 storage capacity can be increased using a Micro M2 memory card giving up to 8Gb memory – more than enough for all your favourite photographs, videos, ringtones and music tracks ( for example 8Mb gives a storage capacity of around 8000 songs).

The W902 comes with all the excellent Walkman music features which users really love in their mobile phones. The built in Walkman features include the Walkman equaliser, shake control, TrackID,  PlayNow, SensMe and AM/FM radio with RDS support. A premium headphones set is included in the Sony Ericsson W902 bundle.

Walkman equaliser -  enables user to adjust sound to give best possible music reproduction for every track.

Shake control – a novel way of selecting next track by shaking the phone!

TrackID – Just record a few seconds of a song and let TrackId provide you with the name of a song, the artist and the name of the album.

PlayNow – ring tone download feature, download new tone with 3 easy button clicks.

SensMe – allows users to select songs by mood (i.e. party, romantic etc)

In addition to the fantastic music features, the W902 user can enjoy high speed internet access ( courtesy of HSDPA) and high data transfer rates between devices using EDGE technology. A quad band phone with international roaming, the W902 also includes “flight mode” where the phones transmitter is disabled. PictBridge printing allows easy and direct printing from your phone and connectivity is further eased with provision of Bluetooth services and a USB connection.

A 5 megapixel digital camera which captures both moving video footage and still photographs with 16x digital zoom, flash, photo light option, image stabiliser and auto focus is another major attraction of the W902 with photographic quality right up there with the class leaders. The BestPic feature on the W902 is neat and allows the user to press the capture key once and the camera will shoot a sequence of nine pictures in quick succession, you simply select the best picture delete the rest. A second camera is included for 3G video calls. Java and 3D games are also loaded for W902 users to round out the entertainment experience.

Pros
5 Megapixel Camera
BestPic
Predictive Text Input
Sound Recorder
Walkman Music Player
FM & AM Radio RDS
TrackID
PlayNow
SensMe
Shake Control
Bluetooth Stereo with A2DP
Premium Headset
3G HSDPA
Bluetooth
USB
EDGE
Quad Band
Access NetFront Web Browser

Cons
No Wi-Fi LAN connectivity

Our Summary
The W902 is a fantastic 3G handset designed by Sony Ericsson with music lovers in mind. Very little negative to say about this phone, it’s packed with great features and the only thing missing is Wi-Fi to take advantage of free wireless internet zones.

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Blackberry Pearl 8120 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Blackberry, Mobile Phones

The cool and sophisticated BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Smart phone features a high quality large screen with full QWERTY keyboard in a stylish but functional layout. The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone is the latest member of the popular Blackberry Pearl Series, a range of business and communication orientated mobile devices which include the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 and the BlackBerry Pearl 8110. The 8120 handset has a large 65,000 colour screen with a screen
resolution of 240 by 260 pixels. Just below this screen is the QWERTY keyboard featuring SureType keyboard software. Despite the huge range of features and technology packed into the BlackBerry Pearl 8120, this is a compact device measuring just 14mm x50mm x 107mm and weighing only 91 grams. The standard battery is capable of around 400 hours on standby and up to 4 hours of call time from a single full charge.

An advantage the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 has over many mobiles on the market is the built-in Wi-Fi technology. This allows the user to enjoy a wireless connection on their phone which is independent of the network provider’s services. This means free connection to the internet in many train stations,
airports, restaurants and city centres using the Blackberry RIM wireless modem. Bluetooth technology is also available as is a USB port for connection to other compatible devices for transfering files or data. The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 phone has a useful 64Mb of built in memory which can be extended using a memory card ( MicroSD memory card ). A document viewer (PowerPoint, Word & Excel) is also included. The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 supports BlackBerry Maps. Calls can be heard using the built in loudspeakers which is convenient for meetings and the Pearl 8120 can be set to vibration alerts for discreet usage.

Full email service capabilities on the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 include instant messaging, SMS messaging and MMS. The QWERTY keyboard is great for inputting text for messaging. A built in multi-media player allows users to play music and video on their Pearl 8120. The built in 2 megapixel camera records still pictures or video footage and has a useful “self portrait” function which uses a discrete mirror to allow users to take pictures of themselves!

Pros
Wi-Fi technology
RIM Wireless Modem
QWERTY keyboard with SureType
2 megapixel camera with dedicated Keys
Wireless Email with Attachments
Media Player
3.5 mm audio output jack
Built-in handsfree
64 Mbytes Flash Memory
Vibrating Alert
Predictive text input

Cons
No 3G

This excellent addition to the BlackBerry Pearl range comes in a range of fashionable colours with large display and full QWERTY keyboard. The BlackBerry Pearl 8120 supports Wi-Fi and has a good selection of call, document and messaging services which makes it a great communication device for both business or personal use.

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Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Blackberry, Mobile Phones

The Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 model is a Smartphone which appeals to both business and personal Smartphone users. A compact Smartphone, measuring 101mm x 50mm x 17.5mm and weighing in at a mere 102 grams, the Pearl flip 8220 is easy to operate with a single hand. Featuring an external screen for easy viewing of call and message information without opening the phone. Opening the Blackberry Pearl flip 8220 reveals a much larger 2.6 inch colour screen with a screen resolution of 128 by 160 pixels. The Pearl Flip 8220 is a member of the Blackberry Pearl range which includes several other Smartphone’s such as the Blackberry Pearl 8110 & the Blackberry Pearl 8120. Up to 4 hours of talk time and 360 hours on standby are available from the rechargeable battery unit.

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The Pearl flip 8220 has an easy to use navigation method in the form of a “TrackBall” key allowing the user move though applications and menus easily. There is also a full QWERTY keypad which means text input is faster and more comfortable. This mobile also features SureType text software and has a security password protection feature which locks the keypad. With built in wireless email for sending, receiving & storing email messages and document attachments (Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint & PDF). MMS (Multi media Service) and SMS are also included along with instant messaging (think mobile version of MSN or Yahoo messenger on your PC or laptop). With 128Mb of internal memory there is room for many messages, contacts and downloads. For heavy users an additional 8Gb of memory can be added via microSD card.

With the Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220 internet access is not limited by network provider as this mobile features Wi-Fi technology allowing connection to the web using local wireless hotspots (WLAN). USB and wireless Bluetooth with A2DP are available for data transfer between devices. The Pearl flip 8220 handset is a quad band unit offering world wide roaming (but check coverage with your network provider prior to travel).

The integrated media player on the Pearl flip 8220 plays video and music files for entertainment (MP3, AAC,WMA, WMV, MPEG4 and H.63) and can be enjoyed in privacy using headphones, or socially using the built in speakers. A built-in 2 megapixel digital camera allows still picture and video capture and playback.

Pros
QWERTY Keyboard
Wi-Fi
RIM Wireless Modem
2 Megapixel Camera
Wireless Email with Attachments
Media Player
3.5mm socket for choice of headphones
Uses latest Blackberry Operating System (4.6) with enhanced multi-task capbilities

Cons
No 3G, which means data transfer rates (if not in wireless zone) are frustratingly slow – video streaming is a no no

Another cracking handset from Blackberry, packed full of functions, easy to use and jaw droppingly handsome.

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Sony Ericsson W302 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Sony Ericsson

The W302 from Sony Ericsson is an attractive “candy bar” type mobile phone available in midnight black or sparking white. At just 10.5mm deep and weighing just 78 grams, the W302 is one of the slimmest, most compact mobile phones in the market. The aluminium finish of the casing gives an up-market, premium feel to the handset and really enhances the handset appearance.

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The Sony Ericsson W302 is a member of the popular Sony Ericsson “Walkman Music” phones collection which includes W595, W902, W660, W580, W910, W960, W890, W350, W760 and W890 giving many different style Walkman music handsets to suit different user needs. The built in Walkman facility supports all the main music formats (including of course mp3) and the transferring of tracks to/from the phone is simple with included software. Useful features such as “PlayNow” (allows users to download tracks in three simple steps) and “TrackID” (a music recognition feature allowing users to get information on a song being played) are really handy as is the AM/FM radio with RDS.

A high colour TFT display screen with 176 x 220 pixels allows viewing of images, video footage and music information in crystal clarity.

The 2 megapixel camera on the W302 supports still and moving video capture with a 2.5x digital zoom. Videos can be played, recorded and streamed on the Sony Ericsson W302. The W302 can be easily connected to PC, laptop or printer using included USB connection or built-in Bluetooth. The Bluetooth wireless connection allows the user to connect to compatible devices at up to ten metres range. Fitted with EDGE(Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) technology the W302 provides high speed data transfers which makes light work of transferring photo, video or music files between devices. A quad band  handset, the W302 can connect to networks worldwide (however check with your individual network before travelling).  The W302 mobile phone comes with a flight mode option which turns off the handsets radio transmission for safe use whilst in areas such as aircraft or hospitals.

Embedded Java games offer users a fantastic gaming experience with 3D effect on the screen. which gives the whole experience a very real feel. A full range of messaging services on the Sony Ericsson W302 allows sending, receiving and storing of messages using the text messaging (SMS), multimedia messaging (MMS) or email services on the handset(with predictive text input method for faster text typing).

With 20 megabytes of internal memory included and expandable memory card slot (Micro M2 type memory card) the W302 can store your favourite songs, photos and videos with ease. Battery performance is good with up to 300 hours standby or 7 hours talk time.

Pros
Quad Band
EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution)
Bluetooth
USB
Only 78 grams
Predictive Text Input
Sound Recorder
FM and AM Radio with RDS support

Cons
No Wi-Fi LAN connectivity supported

This Walkman phone is designed for music lovers who also require a full set of communication features. Lack of Wi-Fi connection and basic camera are the only (small) downsides and the W302 makes an excellent music player.

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Blackberry Curve 8320 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Blackberry, Mobile Phones

The BlackBerry Curve 8320 is a Wi-Fi capable Smartphone which comes from the BlackBerry Curve range which includes other compact Smartphone’s such as the BlackBerry Curve 8300, the BlackBerry Curve 8310 and the BlackBerry Curve 8900. This stunning and compact casing (107mm x 60mm x 15.5mm deep, weighing just  111 grams) oozes elegance and style. The large (2.5 Inches) screen offers 320 by 240 pixel resolution along with easy to use navigation tools and right underneath the screen you have a full amazingly compact QWERTY keyboard.

Staying in contact with family, friends or business colleagues is simple with a full range of messaging technologies such as SMS, instant messaging service, MMS and wireless email services. There are pre-loaded games on the BlackBerry Curve Smartphone for those less serious moments along with a multi-media player.

The 2 megapixel camera on the BlackBerry Curve 8320 allows capturing of still pictures and video footage with the large screen acting as viewfinder and video playback screen. This Curve smartphone comes with all the call features modern users require such as an easy access phone book, vibrating alert, handsfree speaker phone and security lock out facilities. The handy trackball navigation feature works much like a PC mouse, you simply roll the ball until the feature you require is highlighted then click to select.

Being a fully  Wi-Fi capable handset, the BlackBerry Curve allows users to experience the internet via a high speed wireless connection via the built in RIM modem which is a wireless modem allowing WAP browsing. Built in GPRS and EDGE technologies facilitate high speed transfer rates and the Blackberry Curve comes with 64Mb of internal memory which is expandable with microSD card slot, unfortunately the memory card slot is located next to SIM so requires battery removal to insert or swap cards. There is also a USB slot for connecting to other non wireless or Bluetooth devices.

Pros
2.5 inch colour screen (320 x 240 Pixel resolution)
2 Megapixel camera
QWERTY Keyboard with intuitive trackball navigation feature
Wi-Fi Enabled
Embedded RIM wireless modem
Instant messaging
Media player
3.5 mm stereo headset jack so you can use your own headphones

Cons
Not 3G
No hot swapping of memory cards

The BlackBerry Curve 8320 is a Wi-Fi capable Smartphone with a stylish metal effect casing with smooth curved edges (hence the name “curve”). This handset comes with all the useful Smartphone features such as a QWERTY keyboard, large 2.5 inch colour screen, communication and messaging features and all the latest technologies. A great looking Smartphone whatever your lifestyle. The BlackBerry Curve 8320 is currently the only “curve” handset from Blackberry to offer Wi-Fi capabilities, so if wireless internet access is important to you, the 8320 is the one to go for. If you want GPS facilities then the 8310 Curve would be the handset for you.

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LG Renoir Mobile Phone Review

Category : LG, Mobile Phones

The new LG Renoir (aka LG KC910) is a touch screen 3G phone which looks very similar to the LG Renoir Viewty (another touch screen phone from LG). The LG Renoir has a large 3 inch, colour touch screen, giving easy access to menu functions and features. Weighing in at approximately 114 grams the LG Renoir is fairly chunky and solid, measuring 14mm x 107.8mm x 55.9mm, but still easy to operate in one hand. This handset, though solid and substantial, is actually slimmer than most competitors such as Samsung’s i8510. The LG Renoir is a true contender for the iPhone crown with it’s range of entertainment and connectivity features.

It comes with an outstanding 8 megapixel digital camera which features Schneider Kreuznach optics, auto and manual focus and a xenon flash lens which allow the user to capture top quality still pictures as well as crystal clear video with DivX and Xvid support and up to 120 frames per second quality (QVGA). With face detection and image stabiliser features, taking high quality still photos or video is easy, A particularly useful camera function allows you to touch the screen to nominate the point of focus and when you remove your finger, the picture is taken – brilliant! Built in GPS also allows geo tagging for photographs and supports AGPS navigation.

The LG Renoir is a quad band phone covering all four GSM networks giving worldwide roaming network coverage. The inclusion of 3G HSDPA technology allows 3G video calls with other 3g compatible phones. In addition to Bluetooth and USB connectivity, the LG Renoir uses Wi-Fi technology which provides a wireless connectivity to the internet via local WLAN or hotspot connection zones.

The 3 inch touch screen is ideal for playing games with a clear and distinct graphic display and the built in music player with radio feature provides high quality entertainment on the LG Renoir. The sound reproduction on the handset is excellent with the Dolby sound feature.

Pros
MicroSD Memory Card Support (up to 16GB)
Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate screen feature
WiFi and Bluetooth enabled
3 Inch TFT Colour Touch Screen
3G HSDPA technology (7.2Mbps)
GPS with AGPS navigation
8 Megapixel Camera with Schnieder Kreuznach Lens
Music Player with mobile Dolby surround sound
100MB of internal memory
The touchscreen is superb to use with intuitive widgets
Mechanical lens cover

Cons
The headphones included in retail bundle are clumsy and ugly
Screen picks up greasy finger marks easily

The LG Renoir is a fashionable 3G touch screen phone with entertainment and communication features to rival the iPhone. Packed with technology such as WiFi, 3G HSDPA and Bluetooth. The handset has a fabulous 3 inch touch screen and fantastic 8 megapixel camera feature with top notch video capabilities. probably the best mobile phone from LG to date.

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Nokia 6650 Mobile Phone Review

Category : Mobile Phones, Nokia

The slim and trendy Nokia 6650 silver flip mobile phone is available exclusively through T-Mobile. Not to be confused with the old “candy bar” 6650 mobile from back in 2003! There are two display screens, the external display screen shows up to 262k colours with a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels, while the internal display (2.2 inches) has up to 16 million colours a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. Having double screens means you can access lots of features and information without opening the phone. Battery performance on the Nokia 6650 silver is above average with up to 6 hours of talk time and 350 hours standby. The relatively compact dimensions of the Nokia 6650 silver mobile phone (99.7mm x 47mm x 16.2mm) and low weight of 112g, means that the 6650 silver fits in your pocket or hand easily and can be operated with one hand.

The built-in music player on the Nokia 6650 silver features an integral FM Radio and supports AAC, eAAC+ and MP3 music formats. The 6650 silver can be customised using MP3 and Polyphonic ring-tones. There is 30Mb of internal memory plus a memory card slot for microSD card if more storage is required.

The Nokia 6650 silver uses the latest XHTML and WAP 2.0 technologies to provide internet browsing capabilities to the user. Connecting to other devices is straightforward using the Bluetooth and USB features. Connectivity to services and networks is well catered for with 3G HSDPA, EDGE and GPRS technologies. The Nokia 6650 silver is a quad-band network mobile which covers GSM-850/900/1800/1900 and HSDPA, so keeping in touch with family, friends or the office while outside the UK is easy.

The Nokia 6650 silver mobile features a built-in 2 mega-pixel camera with flash, zoom and a dedicated camera key. The camera can also record moving video footage which can be played back on the internal display screen. Quality of both still photographs and video is pretty basic, but if you rarely use these functions then there is plenty of other features on the 6650 silver to keep you interested.

Messenger services such as SMS, MMS (multi-media messaging), Instant messaging and Emailing are included and a wide range of Java games are also available.

The Nokia 6650 silver is also packed with tools and applications such as an Organiser, Calendar, Alarm, Calculator, GPS Navigation and A GPS Function.

Pros
Full range of features
Low price
GPS navigation
Built-in FM Radio
Hands free speaker phone
Decent web browsing

Cons
Pretty basic camera and video recorder
No real “wow” factor
Keypad is flat so easy to select wrong key when texting

The Nokia 6650 silver mobile phone is a stylish and useful phone, it has most of the features demanded by modern consumers and is easy to use. However, it’s a good phone, not a great phone.

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Blackberry Bold Mobile Phone Review

Category : Blackberry, Mobile Phones

The Blackberry Bold is an extremely capable business mobile, packed with state of the art features and innovative technology. With a large colour screen, full QWERTY keyboard, 3G technology enabled, trackball navigation, Wi-Fi, camera/video feature, media player and email/texting services. The Blackberry Bold is  mobile office and entertainment centre all wrapped up in a 14mm x 66mm x 114mm package weighing just 133 grams. This light weight includes the standard battery which offers up to 5 hours of talktime and 310 hours on standby from a single full charge.

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One of the first things you notice about the Blackberry Bold is the brilliant WQVGA screen (resolution 480×320) with excellent clarity and landscape mode for widescreen media viewing. Underneath the large screen you will find the intuitive Blackberry trackball navigation control unit along with full QWERTY keyboard. The Blackberry Bold ships with 128Mb of built in flash memory (can be extended up to 8Gb with memory card).

A top notch integrated music player is one of many attractive features on the Blackberry Bold, with Blackberry media synchronisation ( to synchronise with iTunes software on your PC or Mac) and a simple interface for creating music playlists. The Blackberry Bold 9000 produces good quality sound and decent volume. A built in 2 megapixel camera is simple to use and has integrated camera controls to make the process of snapping photos or recording video clips a doddle.

The BlackBerry Bold 3G Smartphone comes has GPS ( global positioning system) technology which supports BlackBerry Maps giving step by step directions to the destination of your choice. Internet browsing and messaging or emailing are well provided for and simple to access using trackball and QWERTY keyboard. MMS, SMS and instant messaging are all integrated and the Blackberry browser is a pleasure to use.

Built in 3G HSDPA technology along with Wi-Fi connections means the user can enjoy high speed connection and data transfers on the move (virtually anywhere in the world with the Quad band reception – GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800 & GSM 1900). There are other connectivity options such as Bluetooth and USB connectivity for other compatible devices.

Pros
Full QWERTY keyboard
BlackBerry Maps with GPS
Wi-Fi technology (means user can access internet without using up network bandwidth)
3G HSDPA Technology
Simple email set-up
128 Mbytes Flash Memory
MicroSD Support up to 8Gb
large 65k Colour Screen
2 Megapixel Camera with flash
Trackball navigation
Document Viewer
Bluetooth with A2DP (allows use of bluetooth wireless headphones)

Our Summary
A stunning Smartphone with 3G HSDPA technology in a smooth and premium casing. The Blackberry Bold has a crystal clear colour screen with full QWERTY keyboard and user friendly trackball navigation. A winner from Blackberry!

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G900 Review from Sony Ericsson

Category : Mobile Phones, Sony Ericsson

The G900i is another 3G Smartphone from the Sony Ericsson G range. The Sony Ericsson G range (other handsets from the range include the Sony Ericsson G700i and G502i). The G900 is a solid “candy bar” type phone available in dark red or dark brown coloured casings. The handset weighs just 99 grams and measures 13mm x 49mm x 106mm. The G900i has a 2.4 Inch (measured diagonally) touch screen which can be operated by finger, stylus or pointer. This high resolution screen displays up to 262,000 colours and features handwriting recognition software.

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The built-in 5 mega pixel camera on the G900 allows the capture high quality photographs and the focus is easy to adjust just by dragging your finger on the the touch screen view finder. With auto focusing,  3x digital zoo , photo light, photo fix and red eye reduction, anyone can take a decent photo with the G900. The camera can also record video footage and has a video stabiliser feature to avoid blurring caused by small hand movements. The video recorder has a video light for better quality video recording in low light conditions. Playing and streaming video is a pleasure on the 2.4 Inch video screen on this phone. Using the  Opera internet browser and WAP 2.0 XHTML allows for a rich internet experience on the G900 Smartphone. Accessing the internet browser is easy and the touch screen can be used to control surfing.  RSS feeds are supported allowing the user get the latest news and weather updates displayed on their phone. Keeping in touch is no problem wherever you are with instant online chats (using the instant messaging service), mobile email service, multimedia picture messaging and SMS.

Playback of music and video files using the built-in media player ensures users enjoy high quality
sound video playback on the G900 handset. using the Sony Ericsson Mega Bass music feature you are sure to find the best bass sound for your favourite tracks. All popular music and video formats are supported and an album art display feature allows viewing of album covers when searching for, or listening to music. All the industry leading Sony Ericsson music features are included to give a real focus on multi-media entertainment for the G900. TrackID, PlayNow and integrated FM radio with RDS support give users a complete entertainment experience on their handsets.  A useful notes option on the G900i lets the user  make notes on the touch screen using the stylus just like making notes in a notepad with a pen.

The use of the latest Symbian operating system means downloading new applications to the G900 Smartphone is easy and document editing features and readers are included. The G900i is a tri band GSM network phone with 160mb of built in memory and a slot for a memory stick micro M2 hot swappable memory card. Connection of other compatible devices is offered using Wi-Fi LAN, Bluetooth wireless or USB cable.

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Pros
2.4 Inch Touch Screen with 240 x 320 Pixel resolution
5 Megapixel Camera
Media Player with Album Art
Opera Web Browser
Symbian Operating System
3G Technology
Predictive text Input
Sound recorder
WLAN Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons
Not much really!

A superb 3G smartphone from Sony Ericsson, and with Wi-Fi connection allowing use of free internet connection and smartzones/hotspots this is a serious “best in class” contender – buy one!

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Tom Tom Go 930 Review – Top of the TomTom Range

Category : Satellite Navigation, TomTom

The TomTom Go 930 is the top of the range portable SatNav model in the TomTom arsenal. The Go 930 unit looks much the same as the Go 730 model initially, perhaps a little slimmer and slight darker coloured casings, when you power the unit up even the initial 480 x 272 resolution screen looks just the same. However the TomTom Go 930 does have some tricks up its sleeve with some high tech features that are not present in the Go 730 or TomTom One models.

tomtom-go-930

One of the unique features of the Go 930 is the fact that it contains maps for virtually the whole world preloaded into the unit – Europe, USA, Russia and beyond. However many industry pundits play down this feature as how many of us travel with any regularity outside Europe or USA/Canada? However we should not underestimate the advantages this may have for individuals who do travel worldwide, for them this could be an invaluable bonus.

A Bluetooth remote control is also standard on the TomTom Go 930 (available as an optional extra on the rest of the TomTom range from Go 530 up), this allows full control of the Go 930 unit from a compact remote. This avoids having to tap instructions into unit directly and risking the unit becoming detached from windscreen.

TMC traffic information is also standard on the TomTom Go 930 (once again a cost option on the other units in the range). TMC is a technology for delivering traffic and travel information (such as up to date weather reports) to drivers. It is normally transmitted using the FM radio RDS system, but can also be transmitted on DAB/satellite radio. TMC allows the delivery of accurate, timely and relevant traffic information without interrupting radio broadcasts. When this data is integrated directly into the TomTom Go 930, alternative routes are suggested to avoid traffic jams.

This real time data from TMC systems, in conjunction with TomTom’s IQ Routes, means Go 930 users will benefit from intelligent alternative routes using real time traffic data and real world information on average speed along those routes. The result – less frustration , less time wasted and better economy.

These additions aside, the Go930 has all the same advantages as the rest of the popular Tomtom range, namely – fast satellite acquisition, rapid route calculations, clear, large screen with easy to follow graphics, loud rear speaker and of course a road safety camera database installed as standard and updated via the TomTom “Home” software on your PC or Mac.

The TomTom Go 930 unit feels reassuringly solid and well built, measuring 118 x 83x 24mm and weighing just 220g, the Go 930 is small enough to be slipped into pockets and used on foot where the internal battery will provide power for up to 5 hours.



TomTom Go 730 Review

Category : Satellite Navigation, TomTom

There is a lot more to the latest TomTom Go 730 than just a method of finding a route from A to B. The Go 730 has many cool features such as “text to speech” (which means the TomTom Go 730 can actually read maps, so instead of “take next left” you get ” take next left and turn into church street”), literally millions points of interest (POI’s), built-in FM transmitter, TomTom’s Map Share technology, Enhanced Positioning Technology (for continuous navigation when satellite signals are lost when travelling through tunnels etc, IQ Routes (which according to TomTom – “Enables collection of anonymous usage statistics”) and all the usual TomTom virtues such as ease of use and the most accurate and up to date maps in the business.

tomtom-go-730

The TomTom Go 730 comes in two versions, basically you can have it with or without TMC traffic information facility (if you choose the version without TMC you will save around £11). TMC is a specific application of the Radio Data System (RDS) on FM radio used for delivering real-time traffic information. Data messages are received by a TMC-equipped navigation device  and are presented to the driver in a variety of ways.

The clever IQ Routes function on the TomTom Go 730 uses information collated by TomTom from users automatically providing the average traffic speed across many routes, TomTom then uses this information to plan alternative and hopefully faster routes. This system results in more accurate route selection than the majority of satellite navigation units on the market as the data used is actual traffic speeds (with data for all times of the day including rush hour) as opposed to estimates based on road type and speed limits which is the data used by many competitors.

As with other TomTom units, satellite lock is incredibly quick and route calculation is swift too. Other features included on the TomTom Go 730 include voice recognition for destination input and reading aloud of SMS messages, onboard music player and FM transmitter allowing you to play music through car stereo system and lane assistance feature covering dual-carriageways, major A-roads and motorways.

There really is little negative to say about the TomTom Go 730, it does lack some of the features found on the range topping Go 930 model, such as Bluetooth remote control and worldwide maps, however the Go 930 is considerably more expensive. The Go 730 is more expensive than the TomTom One range, but it does have many extra features. In the £200-£250 price range the TomTom Go 730 is probably the class leader. A fantastic SatNav unit with all the features and applications you will ever need, the Go730 may be the best compromise between price and features in the TomTom range!



TomTom GO 530 Review

Category : Satellite Navigation, TomTom

The new TomTom GO 530 (replacing the current TomTom GO 520) has a new upmarket and premium look, expanded maps coverage and includes some cool new features such as the IQ Routes technology ( calculates your routes based on real world measurements of speeds on actual routes) and Advanced Lane Guidance to help you navigate complicated junctions. The Go 530 (along with the TomTom Go 730 + TomTom Go 930) offers more in the way of advanced technology and features over the TomTom One or even TomTom One XL.

tomtom-go-530

One of the coolest features of the TomTom range has to be the TomTom MapShare technology. Allowing users to create data to correct maps and then uploading this data for integration in next update is a genius plan. Essentially TomTom has thousands of users travelling up and down the Country inputting data for them, free! As a result the TomTom maps are always more up to date than any of their competitors.

Another feature offered on the TomTom GO 530 is the new TomTom High Definition Traffic Receiver which allows users to recieve the latest HD traffic information covering motorways and secondary roads.

The large 4.3 inch touch screen uses the latest generation of Tomtom icons with updated user interface which makes getting to your destination even easier, and if typing address or postcode seems like too much trouble, the TomTom GO 530 will accept voice address input – simply announce the address of your destination!

Safety is a priority with the TomTom GO 530, with enhanced hands free calling allowing drivers to keep there eyes on the road when making calls, clear voice instructions for route guidance and even SMS messages can be read aloud using text to speech software. Finally the “Help me” function on the TomTom GO 530 allows users to get direct access to local emergency services and roadside assistance.

The TomTom GO 530 has its own built-in speaker, however most users will take advantage of the integrated FM transmitter which can broadcast navigation instructions through your car stereo system. Although the TomTom GO 530 comes wih door to door maps of the UK preloaded, it is always a good idea to update the unit immediately after purchase to ensure everything is up to date – particularly the safety camera database which provides drivers with visual and audible warnings when approaching cameras on your route.

Initially the feedback from users on the usefulness of the IQ Routes technology was less than enthusiastic, however the database continues to grow at the rate of over half a billion measurements per day, so is becoming exponentially more accurate.

The GO 530 series features another first from TomTom, the “Advanced Lane Guidance” system. This system gives drivers a more realistic view and enhanced representation of the surroundings, which means navigating difficult junctions becomes easier than ever before.



TomTom One XL V2 Review

Category : Satellite Navigation, TomTom

The TomTom One XL V2 has a large 4.3 inch full TFT colour LCD touch sensitive (480 x 272 pixels, 64.000 colours) wide screen, this helps you to see more without taking you eyes of the road and the sensitive touch screen is a pleasure to use. With a new EasyPort mount which folds up neatly so the TomTom One XL V2 navigation package can easily fit into your pocket, purse or bag. Being Plug & Go, the XL V2 couldn’t be simpler to use, simply plugin and tap the screen to start using the intuitive touchscreen interface.

tomtom-one-xl-v2

Featuring the innovative “MapShare” technology from TomTom, the One XL V2 allows you to make corrections to your own map and benefit from corrections made by thousands of TomTom users every day – free! This ensures all maps are being continually updated to reflect new roads, roadworks, congestion charges, tolls and road safety camera information. Using TMC technology, your routing can be optimised for the traffic conditions ahead. TomTom One XL V2 users also
benefit from pre-installed safety camera alert system helping you to drive safely, more responsibility and to avoid traffic fines and points on your license!

TomTom GPS systems use QuickGPSfix to speed up the time it takes to fix your GPS position, thereby helping you to save time and drive off more quickly. Additionally You can find local emergency service information in the “Helpme” menu which will display everything from hospitals to vehicle roadside assistance companies. A “Locate Me” button is also provided which will allow emergency services to locate you quickly.

The TomTom One XL V2 is available in regional (UK) version or European version. The regional version is the cheaper of the two by around £30. Both versions come with a 12/24 volt car charger, software CD, the car mount and a USB cable. This V2 version of the TomTom One XL will charge while updating via your PC while connected with provided USB cable, however in practice this takes forever and a home charging adaptor would be a useful addition to the retail pack. The only other real criticism is due to the increased size of the screen, the unit is less compact than the cheaper TomTom One and for some will not seem as good value. For others that fantastic widescreen will be more than worth it.

The update software is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X 10.3 and above. Automatic day/night modes ensure screen is always clear and readable, and car speed linked volume and large speaker allows you to listen to your favourite tunes while still being able to hear route guidance.

There are no picture viewers, MP3 or video players integrated into the TomTom One XL V2, this unit is all about navigation, not multimedia. In this respect the TomTom One unit stands head and shoulders above the competitors.



TomTom One XL V1 Satellite Navigation Review

Category : Satellite Navigation, TomTom

The TomTom One XL V1 has now been superseded by the V2 version, however the main difference between the V1 and V2 versions is that the V2 will charge from USB cable whereas the V1 will not ( the new version is also slimmer and lighter but functions are the same). This makes the Xl V1 something of a bargain if you can still find one in stock at a retailer or on-line outlet, they can be picked up for way less than £150 and you can simply download latest maps and updates and you are good to go! For instance the V1 navigation software works with address OR postcode, unlike some of the older models from TomTom, so you might not have the absolute latest model but you will have a very capable and cheap SatNav unit with lots of features.

tomtom-one-xl-v1

The TomTom One XL V1 unit is completely Plug & Go, it works straight out of the box with no complicated set up procedures. With large 4.3″ high quality touch screen the maps are clear and using the menu is easy with well spaced menu and icons. The TomTom One XL V1 is light and easy to handle, weighing just 209 grams. Should you encounter traffic jams the TomTom One XL V1 will recalculate routes quickly and choose from the following routes: quickest, shortest,
and avoiding tolls and congestion charging areas.

The TomTom One XL V1 has day and night modes and displays crystal clear graphics in 2D or 3D modes. Choose from 36 user languages and millions of points of interest (POI) such as petrol stations, restaurants, hotels, museums, zoos etc. With maps covering Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican and of course the
United Kingdom.

The “XL” part of the name comes from the fact that this is essentially the same as the popular TomTom One model but with larger screen. The ONE XL also has a pre-installed database of safety camera (speed camera) locations throughout the UK. This database, in conjunction with the TomTom software will alert you when there is a fixed safety camera on your route.

A minor criticism is that the length of the charging cable (which plugs into cigarette lighter socket) is too short for some cars. For instance on many vehicles there is not enough slack to route cable under carpets or behind trims, you simply have to have the cable trailing across dashboard/steering wheel which looks clumsy. The windscreen attachment is secure, display great, maps always up to date and directions seem to be accurate around 99% of the time – a bargain (if you can still find one!)

Unfortunately there are very few online retailers that stock the V1 and so please find the prices for the V2 XL TomTom below:



TomTom One V4 Satellite Navigation Review

Category : Satellite Navigation, TomTom

The TomTom One V4 is a budget SatNav unit with high end features, however, satellite navigation technology has become so readily available in recent years and it’s hard to see how some of the premium brands can compete at the lower end of the market. Many mobile phones now come complete with GPS and maps, navigation software can be purchased for mobiles and PDA’s for less than £100 and even dedicated SatNav units can be purchased for around £100. So where does this leave lowish-end products like the TomTom One V4?

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Well, the TomTom V4 really isn’t that cheap. It comes in two versions, the UK only version and the Europe wide version . Both of which retail in the £100-£200 range. This is expensive for a SatNav unit with just a 3.5in screen. So why should we buy the TomTom unit?

Surprisingly the TomTom One V4 feels every bit the quality product that its bigger, more expensive competitors do ( not to mention other TomTom products such as the Go 530, 730 and 930). This is due to the fact that the TomTom One V4 shares the same basic design as the TomTom One XL range, with a larger speaker at the rear of the unit, a better windscreen mount and a slimmer design.

The new windscreen mount is a major improvement, one of the few weaknesses of the previous TomTom One was the push-on windscreen mount, which infuriated drivers by falling off the windscreen into their laps or onto the floor with monotonous regularity! The screen on the TomTom One V4 is clear and address/data entry is really easy (even if you have sausage fingers like mine!). In addition to the touch screen keyboard you can also use it in QWERTY mode.

A POI (places of interest) database is standard on the TomTom One V4 which includes petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, doctors, vets etc – invaluable information if you have difficulties in an area you are unfamiliar with.

With TomTom’s excellent home software updating the unit is easy, simply attach to PC with USB cable and run software provided. maps are continually updated by TomTom and their users. Like other models in the TomTom range users can make corrections to any mistakes they may find while driving and upload these corrections to the TomTom database (where they are vetted and double checked before being amended for next update).

Route calculation satellite lock on are achieved quickly and the sound from the enlarged rear speaker is loud and clear. The only real criticism is that there is a small time lag between real-life position and position on the screen, this only becomes a problem in inner cities with many turnings close by. In these situations you have to listen to the spoken instructions or you may miss your turn.

A good satellite navigation unit with big pretensions, perhaps not the best choice in the TomTom range but far from a bad unit.



TomTom One V3 Satellite Navigation Review

Category : Satellite Navigation, TomTom

Units like the TomTom ONE v3 are the new kids on the block, until very recently there were only really two choices when it came to having satellite navigation in your car. Either you had satellite navigation unit fitted professionally into your car’s dashboard or you cobbled together a DIY job with a PDA connected to a separate GPS receiver and had cables trailing all over the car. Nowadays there are many compact and portable GPS devices which are self contained and the TomTom ONE v3 is definitely worth considering.

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With prices falling to well under £200, portable SatNav units are now generally cheaper than PDA’s and are much more suitable for in-car use (it’s not very safe steering with your knees while inputting commands to PDA with stylus!). The rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the TomTom ONE v3 will run for two hours without external power, however when plugged into the vehicle cigarette lighter socket using provided cable, unit will run indefinitely. There is also a USB cable provided for plugging into your PC for map and software updates (unit also gets charged when using USB cable).

The screen on the TomTom ONE v3 is clear and bright – even in direct sunlight. Volume from built-in speakers on the unit is good which means you can still listen to your ICE whilst getting route guidance. The TomTom ONE v3 kit allows the unit to be securely fixed to windscreen, dashboard, air vents and other interior fittings.

The touch display screen is 2.75 inches wide (3.5 inch diagonal)  which is large enough to be user friendly. All icons are easy to select with your fingers and entering data such as addresses or postcodes is also simple. The directions given are for the most part, spot on. However the unit can occassionally be confused between bends in the road and junctions, and sometimes gets confused between mini-roundabouts and crossroads. The maps are up to date and route planning is accurate. Unit seems to pick up GPS signals quickly especially if you update via your PC once a week or so.

One of the best features of the TomTom ONE v3 is the ability to download map corrections made by other users – and also to input your own corrections should you find any errors. This keeps information up to date for all users. The TomTom ONE v3 has another ace up it’s sleeve, it can warn you about nearby speed cameras (safety cameras to be precise!) Other notable features are simple rerouting to avoid traffic jams or other obstacles, 2D and 3D map views, facility to plan routes for walkers and cyclists as well as motorists, “travel via” option and volume control that is linked to the car’s speed.

A top performing SatNav unit at bargain basement price, the TomTom ONE v3 would suit motorists, walkers and cyclists, giving accurate directions, up to date mapping in 3D and even warnings about sped cameras! An excellent bit of kit highly recommended.